You might remember this blog post not long ago in which we shared an inspiration exchange between Julianna (artist daughter visiting family in Copenhagen) and Cathy (artist mom holding down the fort in Austin).
We are often inspired by the littlest things, from a trip to the grocery store to a leaf on the ground, but when a daughter sends a photo of a row of rainbow houses from the happiest country on earth, we just have to stop and make a collection. Here’s a little peek at the collaborative process for our newest products debuting for February’s First Friday from our online shop, Mej Mej.
First, we decided to choose our color palette. Some of Jules’ Copenhagen photos guided us.
Pink, yes, but not too loud. Turquoise, yes, but just a little bit dusty. Yellow, yes, but not yellow-yellow … more of a light ochre. Then Jules suggested a blue accent, but toned down to a light denim. (color of a dark sea?) And, finally a wonderful dash of warm kangaroo gray, which is now a staple in children’s rooms and it just says Europe.
Once we finally decided on color, it was time to immerse ourselves in Danish life. While Jules was our man on the street in København, I vicariously-visited by listening to the audible version of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country. It was a pleasant listen-while-you-work way of seeing Denmark. And with everyone peddling about on bicycles, we began our village scene with … a bicycle and a fugl (fugl = bird in Danish).
Next came an air balloon with a bird, love letters with a bird, and a village full of birds. And, while I was in a fugl frenzy, Jules was sketching a gorgeous folk-art inspired alphabet, which later turned into some adorable tummy stickers and monogram paper prints.
A favorite addition was an excellent grouping of patterned clouds for fabric wall decals, which can either float above the village scene or become a hip wallpaper pattern for a sleeping room … very handy to lull nappers to sleep, whether little or big.
After lots of drawing, coloring, re-drawing and re-coloring, we were satisfied and content … and we even felt a bit of hygge (pronounced hue-gah). This is our new favorite Danish expression for which there is no single English word, but it means something like the warm feeling that can come from being with friends and family and coziness and happiness and it often involves glowing candles and good food, and possibly cakes and sweet things. It’s like all the happy emojis mixed into one!
And speaking of happy, we can’t think of a better way to introduce our new artwork than with these two cute gals.
And there you have it. A collection is born. We call it Landsby, which means village in Danish. Our plan was to design a group with Scandinavian style that would coordinate equally as well with a freshly painted grandmother’s chest or a mid-century modern IKEA cabinet … then sprinkled with a big dose of fun.
We hope girls, near and far, will be waking to singing fugls and soft Scandinavian clouds. We can’t wait to see photos of the Landsby wall decor accenting kids’ rooms from Austin to Copenhagen. (Be sure to post with #shopmejmej) Happy hygge!